2 Days And Counting Until Trick-Or-Treating, Are You Ready For The Teal Pumpkin Project?

Can you believe we are in the last week of October already? I know, time has just flown by this month, as I think it always does this time of year thanks to the over abundance of things to do. Aside from the unfortunate increase in colds and flus, fall is one of my favorite seasons. From the crisp and cool fall air to the amazing festivals and activities of all kind that seem to surround us. This year, with our little girl being a hundred percent mobile, our annual fall activities of apple picking, going to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving/painting, and attending fall festivals here and there looked very different from last year. She just loved each and every one, from picking out her favorite miniature pumpkin/gourd and sitting on top of our big carving pumpkin to picking those little baby apples off the trees and yelling apples while placing them in her bucket. Life has changed so much in only a year, but in so many good ways. 

Seeing as we’re only a couple days away from the highlight of October, this week we’re in full Halloween prep mode. This past weekend, our little girl painted her pumpkins while Mommy tried her hand at our first serious pumpkin carving, which for my first time I am very proud, if I do say so myself. Earlier in the week, we ran some errands to scout out some more Teal Pumpkin Project treat ideas and made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes for dinner. And today we’re going to take full advantage of the unseasonably warm air that’s rolling in by spending some time outside and maybe making some Halloween shape cookies later on too. 

What do you think



 So like I mentioned, among our Halloween week travels, little one and I were scouting out a few more ideas for Teal Pumpkin Project friendly treats. Having a food intolerance myself, as well as a nephew with severe food allergies, has changed my view entirely on holidays, especially those that are centralized around food. As a little girl, I remember running from house to house on Halloween, collecting buckets full of candy that my siblings and I would then hold a formal trading session for later on that night. While half of the fun of Halloween is definitely the dressing up and running around part, the other half is easily the candy and treats that you work hard to accumulate. Even though I can’t imagine what my holidays would have looked like as a child if my food intolerance were active at that time, I’ve been able to get a pretty good idea from watching my nephew. Now almost 8 years old, each year he’s been a really good sport about the limitations for him for Halloween. He loves dressing up and trick-or-treating with his brothers and cousins but the candy side of things doesn’t hold much excitement for him. Thankfully, with a ton of family local, ever since he was small we’ve been able to make sure that he gets plenty of edible and non-edible treats that will make his Halloween just as exciting as his siblings.

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5



My nephew isn’t the only child with stories like these from Halloween; in fact there’s far more children with food allergies/intolerances than many realize, hence the inspiration for the Teal Pumpkin Project. Through the Teal Pumpkin Project, on Halloween, children with food allergies will feel included but safe at the same time with the ability to trick-or-treat for fun, non-food items. What an amazing and community unifying idea and all you have to do to participate and make these kids smile is paint a pumpkin teal or hang one of these flyers in your window/door and provide a simple, allergy friendly non-food option in addition to or instead of candy.

After perusing the Halloween section at Target and Walmart and getting over the sticker shock of how much candy is now, I figured that many of you probably spend a good $10 dollars at least on bags of candy.  Why not take a few dollars out of what you’re already spending and get a small selection of non-food items to pass out too! These things don’t have to be expensive, in fact they can cost just as much or less than the candy that you normally purchase. Need some ideas? You’re in luck, I’ve got some great ones that are affordable and will fit right in with your candy budget too! Check out some of my recommendations in my vlog, along some more ideas below.

Here’s a whole list of cheap and fun ideas, along with where you might find them.

Target finds:

  • Spider rings (a bag full for $1)
  • Stretchy creatures or skeletons (package for $1)
  • Tattoos ($3 for a container full)
  • Glow in the dark fangs (1 for a bunch)
  • Festive erasers ($1 for a bunch)
  • Halloween bouncy balls ($3 for a package)
  • Halloween shaped crayons or chalk ($2 for a package)
  • A bowl full of crayons ($2.49 for a huge box)
  • Glow bracelets/sticks 

Craft stores like Michael’s or Acmoore and the Dollar Store too has similar finds (Michael’s has 70% off their Halloween stuff already too!):

  • Spooky witch fingers (a bag full for $1.99)
  • Different color rubber bracelets (a bag full for $1)
  • Eyeball rings ($1.99 for a bag)
  • Halloween stickers books ($1, you can always give out a page to each child)
  • Coloring books ($1 each)

Party City has some fun treats too:

  • Multipack of black spiders (99 cents)
  • Pumpkin bookmarks (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Halloween activity pads (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Spooky eye patches (a bunch for 99 cents)
  • Eyeball ping pong balls ($1.99 for a package)
  • Halloween whistles ($1.99 for a package)
  • Halloween bubbles ($2.99 for a bunch)
  • Halloween puzzle cubes ($2.99 for a bunch)
  • Halloween eyeball glasses ($3.99 for a multipack)
  • Halloween punch balloons ($5.99 for a big package)

If you do end up purchasing any of these Halloween goodies, keep in mind that they make great little treats for your own little ones too. I could pick out a handful that my nephew who’s 8 would have a kick out of and a ton more that my little girl, who loves everything that’s small and little, would love to cart around with her too. In fact earlier in the season, I bought her a bag of the spider rings just for fun and ever since she puts one on each finger and stuffs the rest in a cup, insisting on carrying it wherever we go and I mean wherever. On our errands the other day, her toy of choice to bring along with us was the cup of goodies that now includes the spider rings, a necklace, and a pair of sunglasses, along with any other small odds and ends, all of which found itself splattered across the craft store floor and an “uh-oh” echoing from within the stroller. No worries, the cup of treasure was retrieved and nestled snugly back in the arms of my little girl, but I think I’ll have to burst her bubble and insist that the cup of treats stays inside when we go our on adventures outside of the house.

So make sure you take advantage of these last few days before Halloween and head out to pick up some of these non-food treats. And don’t forget to hang your Teal Pumpkin Project sign or get your kids involved (or have a little fun yourself) and paint a pumpkin teal, to tell everybody around you that you have some allergy friendly treats! It’s such a fun holiday that we all look back on with fond memories, let’s make sure all of our kids can do the same.

Have a Happy Halloween,

Lindsay 

Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast Makes A Perfectly Special Breakfast Or Breakfast For Dinner

A little while ago I introduced you to this gluten free sourdough brand that I stumbled upon. They’re a San Francisco based company that created some authentic sourdough bread that’s gluten free! A small leap for mankind, sure, but a giant leap for the gluten free world. Those at Bread SRSLY sent me a few samples and I’ve had so much fun trying them out in every capacity that I could think of. Check out everything that I had to say about their products here but I thought I’d also share a little sneak peak of what I decided to do with them.

From these tasty, toasted tomato and mozzarella sandwiches on their sourdough sandwich rolls: 

Gluten Free Sourdough Rolls By Bread SRSLY



 To soup in a bread bowl made from a hollowed out half a loaf of bread: 

Bread Bowl With GF Soup (2)



Each creation was just as delightful as the one before, but there’s one in particular that I haven’t shared with you yet that’s a little extra special. One of my all time favorite non-gluten free breakfast items is french toast. I remember for my birthday, my parents would always let each of us choose a restaurant that we’d like to have our birthday dinner at. One restaurant that never failed to appear for at least one of our birthdays during the year was Cracker Barrel, and not for their dinner menu but rather their breakfast selection. If you haven’t been, it’s probably for the best now seeing as though they aren’t very gluten free friendly at all but the days that I spent diving into their heaping plates of amazing french toast, hashbrown casserole, egg sandwiches, and cinnamon apples I look back fondly on and they just sing of family memories.

Much to my dismay, since my gluten days dining at Cracker Barrel I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting the wonderfulness of a french toast breakfast or dinner if you’re like my family and likes a breakfast kind of dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely given gluten free french toast a try, but the fragility and delicateness of gluten free bread just hasn’t held up to it’s construction. Until now that is. Thanks to Bread SRSLY and their gluten free sourdough bread, I’ve tasted french toast again! Nothing will quite meet the family friendly food memories that I have of Cracker Barrel’s finest dishes, like their french toast, but any recreation that won’t give me countless aches and pains I’m more than happy to enjoy in their place! So with Martha Stewart’s help and some twists and tweaks, grab your favorite gluten free sourdough bread and give my Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast a try.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf gluten free sourdough, staler the better (I like Bread SRLY.)



Sourdough French Toat (2)



  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • pure maple syrup (gluten free) and additional butter for enjoying

Directions:

  • Cut 6 to 8, 1-inch slices of a loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and set aside.



Sourdough French Toat (3)



  • To a medium bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream, 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. 
  • Place slices of bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold slices. I used a 9 x 13 dish that was large enough to fit 6 slices. When the first 6 slices are finished soaking, just add remaining slices to dish or to a smaller dish with the mixture for their soaking.
  • Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and soak for 10 minutes.



Sourdough French Toat (4)



  • After first 10 minutes, carefully turn slices over and soak an additional 10 minutes until slices are soaked through. 
  • Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. 
  • To the warmed skillet, cook 3 slices of bread until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes each side).



Sourdough French Toat (7)



  • Once all slices of bread have been cooked, serve with melted butter, warmed pure maple syrup, and a little powdered sugar too if you’d like! Another little tip, pair your french toast with some fresh fruit, berries or bananas!


Sourdough French Toat (9)



Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast

And voila! There you have it, some gluten free french toast courtesy of the perfect gluten free sourdough bread. I love the crispy cinnamon flavored, egg coated crust on the outside and soft and warm inside, all smothered in some amazing pure maple syrup. I have to say, adding the dusting of powdered sugar on top was the icing on the cake for me though. In the past, my french toast was simple, just topping it with syrup, but now, the added decadence is warmly welcomed and very well enjoyed by this mommy. And it makes it so pretty too!

So if you’re in the mood for a little breakfast for dinner or breakfast for breakfast, dig up some sturdy gluten free sourdough and dabble away with this gluten free french toast recipe. I know I’ll definitely be ordering myself some Bread SRSLY’s gluten free sourdough and throwing this together again soon, maybe for a breakfast dinner or maybe for a special holiday breakfast.

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Gluten Free Sourdough French Toast


Write a review

Print

Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf gluten free sourdough (I like Bread SRLY.)
  2. 6 large eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream
  4. 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. a pinch of nutmeg
  7. a pinch of salt
  8. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  9. pure maple syrup (gluten free) and additional butter for enjoying
Instructions
  1. Cut 6 to 8, 1-inch slices of a loaf of gluten free sourdough bread and set aside.
  2. To a medium bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk or light cream, 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place slices of bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold slices. I used a 9 x 13 dish that was large enough to fit 6 slices. When the first 6 slices are finished soaking, just add remaining slices to dish or to a smaller dish with the mixture for their soaking.
  4. Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread and soak for 10 minutes.
  5. After first 10 minutes, carefully turn slices over and soak an additional 10 minutes until slices are soaked through.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. To the warmed skillet, cook 3 slices of bread until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes each side).
  8. Once all slices of bread have been cooked, serve with melted butter, warmed pure maple syrup, and a little powdered sugar too if you’d like!
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Gluten Free Mom To Be http://www.glutenfreemomtobe.com/

Living Life As A C-Section Mommy: Dealing With Judgment, Criticism, And Competition

Many c-section mommies would probably agree with me that having their babies via c-section was far from their desired delivery method. I, like many other women, dreamed of having my daughter the old fashioned way, getting that instant gratification of pushing her out and seeing her beautiful little self placed on top of my chest to share her first few minutes of life together. Unfortunately for me, this version of child birth just wasn’t in the cards for me and God had a much different plan.

As some of you might remember from my daughter’s birth story post, my reasons for having to have a c-section were far from the norm which took me even more by surprise. For nearly 8 months I had prayed for an easy delivery and it seemed as if the stars had aligned when each appointment as delivery drew near our little one was head down and ready to go. Sadly, just before Thanksgiving my doctor delivered the news that I would have to have a scheduled c-section. And with quite a few tears shed and a lot of useless begging later, we had chosen our delivery date and we were in countdown mode until baby girl would arrive.

Countdown To Our Little Girl’s Birth Day:

From the day our fate was decided for us, my world changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined. You see in my entire family and sector of friends I would become the only one to have c-section. It’s already a scary path to walk down but without friends and family who can empathize and understand what you’re feeling, it becomes even more scary and lonely. For the weeks leading up to our little girl’s birthday, in their attempts to be supportive, I had heard so many comments from friends and family trying to ease a mommy-to-be’s fears of her upcoming surgery. Unfortunately, since most of these comments came from people who hadn’t actually had a c-section before, the context didn’t hold much value for me nor the delivery hold much sincerity. 

Some of the most memorable pre-c-section comments that I can recall include:

  • “A c-section is so much easier.”
  • “It’s not as painful.”
  • “I wish I had had a c-section.”
  • “I know tons of people who have had c-sections, and it’s no big deal.”
  • “I was up and walking around the same day after I had my c-section.”

Trust me, I totally understand and believe in positive thinking, however anyone that knows me knows that I am a realist. Although I think positively constantly, I also like to know all of the facts, risks, and potential ways something can go wrong, from the good stories to the bad stories too, I want to hear them all. Unfortunately, my pool of mommy stories mostly did not include c-sections, so leading up to the day of my daughter’s birth I felt just as much fear and anxiety as I had only 3 weeks before when my doctor had delivered the news. 

And The Day Had Arrived:

When the day had finally arrived, with barely any sleep, me and baby, Daddy, my parents, and my sister were headed up bright and early to the hospital. I just remember it being a really mild December day, cool and crisp and as I approached the brand new hospital in front of me I just took a deep breath, squeezed my husbands hand a little tighter, and rubbed my belly to tell my little girl that we’d be okay. As many of you probably know from my birth story, from there things didn’t quite go as planned, which you can check out more about in my birth story post, but nonetheless by lunch time our little one had arrived. 

While the first few days of being Mommy were beautiful in every way imaginable, I also remember being extremely overwhelmed with emotion and in an extraordinary amounts of pain. Long story short, turns out that I wasn’t given the right kind of medicine for a c-section causing me to be in excruciating amounts of pain only hours after having our little girl. It was a horrible way to spend my first few days as a new mommy but thankfully just one look at my little girl made all of it seem to get better.

Because of the extra complications that I had during and after my c-section, my recovery as a whole was really tough physically not to mention the emotional toll that it took on me. I remember lying there one night in the hospital when baby and Daddy were sleeping and just feeling so angry about my situation. I just kept crying and asking God why I had to go through all that I did to become a mommy and why I was still suffering in so much pain. While I never got my answers to those questions, I am firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that for some reason my c-section had to go the way it did, if for nothing else it made me so much stronger and prepared me for the challenges that we’d face down the road but also remind me just how lucky we were to have our precious our little girl.

My Recovery While Battling Postpartum Emotions:

Thanks to the c-section, we had an extended stay in the hospital, another downer of having a c-section. I wanted to so badly to take our little girl home immediately but I was by no stretch well enough to be on my own at home yet, so the extra few days were much needed. While we were there we had tons of visitors stopping in to meet our little one, each one hearing about our scary adventure. And while their presence was so supportive, they all expressed the same sentiment on our experience, “at least you’re both here and healthy.” This was incredibly true and I too felt enormously grateful that that was the case, but I couldn’t help but feel like it diminished my feelings at the same time. I was already so overwhelmed with my emotions postpartum as it was, the added stressor of dealing with the c-section, recovery complications, and now filtering my emotions with family and friends just took the stress to another level.

I remember during one of our days, the lactation consultant stopped by to check in on the breastfeeding and was just chatting with me about how I was doing. That single question was all I needed to unload all of my emotion on this poor stranger standing in front of me. I realized that up until that point, that even though plenty of family and friends stopped in to see how we were doing, I hadn’t been able to unload everything that I had been feeling on anyone. This woman, I must say, was the most supportive, understanding, and influential person that I ran into during my recovery. I remember telling her how upset I was that I didn’t get to do any of the things that I hoped or planned on doing before my little one was born. Even aside from having the c-section I hadn’t wanted, nothing beyond that had gone as planned either, from being unable to do skin to skin with our baby to not seeing or holding her until a good hour after she was born. Because of the extraordinary amount of pain that I was experiencing during my recovery I couldn’t even take care of my daughter the way that I had wanted to. I just felt so deprived and cheated of the experience as a whole. I felt like I had missed out on so many of the beautiful parts of giving birth that I’d heard so many others tell me about. I was so angry and frustrated about what had happened to me. And with all of the venting, the consultant said very simply that I was allowed to feel that way and that what I had gone through was traumatic.

That was all I needed that whole time, an understanding voice who validated my feelings without turning the glass half full. And while my feelings of frustration and sadness didn’t go away for quite awhile afterwards, this one conversation stuck with me and reminded me that I was entitled to feel however I felt. I had been through a traumatic experience that left me feeling a boatload of different emotions that I needed to talk about and work through in anyway I could. I’m incredibly thankful that I’d had this 15 minute conversation, that although it didn’t speed up the physical recovery, it helped me heal emotionally in ways that I was incredibly grateful for.

Welcome Home Family Of Three:

Finally after four days in the hospital, I was packed up and ready to go home to enjoy my family of three. As the days ticked by during my recovery, I felt myself getting stronger and stronger as a new mommy. My new role came so naturally to me and I truly had fallen in love with our little girl which made the process of recuperating, at least my body, a little bit easier.

But all while I was enjoying motherhood, I was dealing with constant waves of postpartum emotions. I felt horrible feeling sad as I looked at this beautiful little baby that God blessed us with but I just couldn’t erase the moments of her birth day out of my mind. Unlike my family and friends who constantly regaled me with the beautiful moments of their births, I felt so bad for myself and my daughter that I wouldn’t be able to share a similar story with her one day. Our story would be a scary one that didn’t include my embrace right after she entered this world or her daddy cutting her cord or even us sharing a blissful first family picture moment together. None of those things were part of our birth experience and that’s a very difficult realty to accept and move on with. 

With time, the freshness of the events of that day, along with the emotions, subsided some allowing me to move on a little. By no stretch though would I say that my recovery was anything but easy. I had to deal with a level of physical pain that many others could only admit that they’d never felt before, along with an emotional struggle that kept flashing through my mind over the next few months. It took a long time physically to resemble my former self and take care of my little girl on my own. And as my scar began to fade, so did the ever so present feelings of anger and sadness that I had about that day. They had begun to be pushed aside by new feelings and memories of all of my little girl’s first, from her smiles and giggles to her first holiday experiences too.

Moving On & Living Life As A C-Section Mommy:

Even though it’s been almost two years since my little girl’s birthday, I still find myself getting sad from time to time when I think about the events of that day. But along with the sadness and even a little anger too is this tremendous feeling of pride now. The fear, pain, and anger that I had fought through and overcome has made me the amazing mommy that I am today, and I truly am so proud of myself for conquering that.  

This however doesn’t mean that being the only c-section mommy in my circle of friends and family is easy. In fact, since having a baby, many of my friends and family have added more babies to the mix, but none via c-section. And even though I feel like I’ve come so far in dealing with the events of my daughter’s birth, I feel like I’m sent right back to that day each time a new baby enters this world around me. When I hear each and every birth story it brings back lots of those feelings of anger and sadness, no matter how long the labor or how difficult the pushing was, I still wish that I could’ve experienced that too. As you can see, even though it’s been a long two years since that day, thanks to the baby boom that’s been taking place around us, it feels like just yesterday sometimes, and becomes even fresher as more and more mothers pop up around me wanting to share their birth story.

One of the hardest things to do now as a c-section mommy is to participate in conversations with the new moms around me. Since I’ve been bitten by the baby bug again, every time we stop by to meet a new little baby I feel tears well up inside reminding how much I want to experience that again but also in fear of the conversation that will be had. I’ll surely be hearing about the delivery reminding me of the moments that we missed out on in our family and that’s the tough part that never seems to go away no matter how far out from my daughter’s birth we get. I’m so excited and happy for the new mommies and daddies around us of course, but I can’t help but reminded of the experience that we were deprived of. 

On many occasions, I’ve taken part in a number of conversations where other mothers are sharing their birth stories with one another. Sadly, during these conversations, even though I too am a mother who gave birth to my daughter, I find myself sinking back in my chair and feeling like I have nothing to contribute, tossing out the obligatory “I know how you feel” or “I experienced the same thing” comment here and there, even though everyone around me knows that I didn’t. And even sadder, many of the mothers haven’t hesitated to remind me that I don’t belong in the group because of my c-section. I’ve heard many a judgmental comment about my experience that have just crushed me down farther as a c-section mommy:

  • “You’re lucky that you had a c-section.”
  • When discussing push presents, “Well you didn’t push so you didn’t really deserve a push present.”
  • “You don’t know what labor feels like.”
  • “You don’t know what contractions feel like.” 
  • “Your recovery wasn’t as bad as mine.”
  • “At least you’ll be able to get your tubes tied at the same time as your last delivery That would be a big deal for me.”

And after hearing all of these comments, I can’t help but feel the judgement and almost competitiveness between other mothers and myself. Even though neither one of us knows exactly what each other felt during their birth, each of our experiences were different and should be valued as just that. I feel as though other mothers look at c-sections, especially, as the easy way out to becoming a mom and that you didn’t truly earn your stripes to be a mom if your baby arrived that way. The scrutiny and criticism that I’ve heard as a c-section mother has torn me down on many an occasion, and each time a comment like this is made I turn to my husband who stood by me on that day and experienced the fear, pain, and sheer terror along with me and he just reminds me that I am just as much a mommy as they are, if not an even stronger one. 

As time has passed, I’ve grown alongside my daughter and have realized the value in sharing my experience with others. While I had my husband who stood by me and let me cry on his shoulder on more than one occasion, it’s just not the same as having another mother who went through exactly what I had and could share in every fear, ache, pain, or anxiety that I experienced. In a world where judgement and competition seems to surround us everyday, it’s so important to find others that you can share an experience as important as a birth, without needing to validate it or without feeling judged. So here’s our opportunity. Open up and share with myself and any other mother out there about your birth experience. Find some solidarity and comfort from others without a feeling of competition or being made to feel like you’re not being grateful for your precious gift.

For me, becoming Mommy was one heck of a journey but it was a journey that I’ll never forget. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself and the strength that I have as a new Mommy, about my husband who stood by me and always does despite the emotional or physical obstacle that stands in our way, and about life itself. I’m a firm believer in the mantras that everything happens for a reason and whatever was meant to be will be. I know that there was a reason for my little girl having to enter the world this way and for whatever reason that was I need to accept it and reach out and help others do the same. How we become mothers is a different story for everyone but becoming a mom is the thing we all have in common. By sharing our stories with each other we can provide much needed support and comfort to heal and move on to enjoy motherhood and all the joys it has to offer. Because after all, being Mommy is so much more than just having your baby, it’s a lifetime of love, laughter, and sheer happiness that you’ll share with that little one. 

Sincerely,

Lindsay

Heading To Washington D.C. Anytime Soon? I Have Some Great Gluten Free Restaurant Recommendations For You!

A month and a half ago we spent a short weekend in Washington D.C. visiting the National Zoo, my favorite gluten free dinner restaurant, Carmine’s, and one of my good friends from college. Our first day was a jam packed, mini adventure which on an unseasonably warm day in September. After our drive from New Jersey to Washington D.C., we spent the entire late morning and afternoon trekking around the National Zoo, followed by an amazing couple of hours stuffing our faces full of family style gluten free goodness, courtesy of Carmine’s. Make sure you check out the rest of the details from that day along with the impressive gluten free dining experience that we had at Carmine’s in my previous post here. While we always enjoy spending time in our nation’s capital, that day was filled with so much fun and excitement making it another one of our extra special family adventures, especially one that tuckered us out.

After a full day of showing Washington D.C. to our little girl we headed back to Hotel Palomer, a boutique Kimpton hotel chain that we love staying at, and bunkered down for the night. And I must say, oh what a night it was! Keep in mind our little one never sleeps with us unless we’re on vacation without any other option of sleeping arrangements. So when she does have the rare treat to sleep with Mommy and Daddy she has a ball. She’s already a mover and groover at night time, so her kicking and rolling on top of you every 5 minutes is to be expected. But the cutest little quirks of our sleepovers that my little one is known for is out of no where, you find her sitting on top of you and saying “Mommy, hi” or “Daddy, hi.” Whether it be 7 am or 2 am, it never fails we’ll get at least a handful of those wide awake greetings at least a few times at night. And even though we never get a restful night of sleep as a family of three in one bed, they definitely are special nights that we share with our little girl that we look forward to each vacation.

So after a long night of tossing and turning and middle of the night greetings and cuddles, as the sun peaked through the curtain, our little girl began flipping and flopping between us, making sure that we both were wide awake before she was. We decided to take our time getting ready and take a nice morning walk around the area before we snatched some breakfast and headed back to New Jersey. Little did we know that breakfast time in D.C. means a late brunch on the weekends, about 10 am or so, which is completely not our normal everyday schedule, nor our little girl’s. In comparison to the D.C. schedule, we’re definitely early birds, with breakfast between 7 and 8 am each day; so to buy us some time on that day we took a very long walk and got a quick bagel for our little one to nibble on for breakfast.

Finally, after we spent 2 hours sightseeing the Dupont area of Washington D.C. the restaurant that we had picked out for breakfast finally had opened for brunch. Breakfast really is one of my most dreaded times of day to find something to eat that is gluten free. I’ve found that no matter we go, oddly enough, breakfast seems to be one of the meals that restaurants most rarely take extra strides to accommodate for. So I was super excited to find that the restaurant that was right across from our hotel, had a great breakfast menu for my husband along with conveniently marked gluten free offerings for me as well.



Nothing too flashy, but a refreshing plate of fresh fruit was a nice treat while we waited for our late breakfast.



Nothing too flashy, but a refreshing plate of fresh fruit was a nice treat while we waited for our late breakfast.

So as 10 am rolled around, we made our way over to Scion Restaurant. They had some great outdoor seating options which we couldn’t help but take advantage of since we rarely have this option at home, even though it was excruciatingly hot even at 10 am already. After we were seated, our waitress took our orders, I went with an omelet with bacon, tomatoes, and cheese along with a Mimosa; I love Mimosas and only ever get them on the rare occasion on vacation so it was a nice little treat for this Mommy. While we waited for our meals to arrive, Dan and I alternated helping ourselves to some fresh fruit from their buffet inside, a nice little appetizer to hold off our very hungry bellies along with keeping our little girl happy. Just as I was taking my turn inside getting some fruit, our meals had arrived and I had a huge omelet with some delicious looking breakfast potatoes waiting for me when I got back.  



Scion's omelet with breakfast potatoes.



Scion’s omelet with breakfast potatoes.

The omelet was delicious, loaded full of fresh tomatoes, pieces of bacon, and cheese. But the real highlight on the plate for me were the breakfast potatoes. As a gluten free diner, many of you probably would agree when I’d say that we rarely can enjoy fries, hashbrowns, or many other types of potato concoctions when we dine out since very rarely are they ever fried in a separate fryer or cooked sans gluten. So I was definitely pleasantly surprised to see half a plate of delicious, thin cut breakfast potatoes staring back at me just screaming to be tried. They were a little crispy but still soft enough so they weren’t like potato chips. And the seasoning on them was perfect, not too spicy or bland, just right!

All together, I’m very happy that we hung around for a late breakfast before our drive home. While we love living in the suburbs, we really do enjoy some of the perks of living in a city, especially the accessibility of restaurants, great ones too that are nestled one after another along the main streets. We especially love the outdoor seating perk too where you can sit and watch the hustle and bustle of the city around you, which is really only an option at a few local chains around us like Uno’s or Red Robin, not quite the same as city dining though.

It was a great miniature weekend away. Ever since our little girl was born we’ve always tried to take the time for fun adventures like this one, no matter how big or small, we just want to show our little girl the world. It makes me so happy that at only 1 1/2 we’ve exposed her to so many of the fun things that Dan and I loved to share and enjoy pre-baby. We always agreed that we wanted to show the world to our little one, a little bit at a time, and introduce her to the beauty, fun, and history that exists outside of our tiny home state of New Jersey. Little by little we’re ticking off our list of must sees for her and have years more of fun and exciting sights to see ahead of us. 

Sincerely, 

Lindsay 

 

Check out Scion’s full breakfast menu along with their dinner menu which also has some gluten free options highlighted.

What’s The Verdict On Freschetta’s Gluten Free Pizza?

As Fall has rolled in, so has the season of colds, flus, and apparently millions of new kinds of viruses too. Unfortunately my little family, freshly vaccinated for the flu I’d like to add, passed around one of those bugs for a week. Little one and my husband seemed to shake theirs but I haven’t been so lucky. Just so happens that I have a lovely case of pneumonia from that nasty bug. Such a downer, especially seeing as Fall is one of my favorite seasons with all of the fun festivals and activities that my little one would just love. So despite the beautiful crisp Fall air that rolled in this past weekend in the Northeast, I spent the majority of it inside trying to get better.

Along with a sicky Mommy, come mediocre half home-cooked meals and lots of indoor play time. As far as play time is considered, little one has been a real trooper, but I can certainly tell her patience is beginning to wear thin so I’m going to have to be pretty creative with this week’s indoor activities since I’m still under the weather. Food wise though, she’s always my biggest fan so we haven’t had too many disagreements on my quick meal choices. 

Freschetta Plain



A few weeks ago, while we were at BJs picking up some family sized items, I spotted a two pack of the Freschetta gluten free pizzas for only $13.99, a great deal compared to the single pie price of $10.99 at Shop Rite. At that price I was sold, so we grabbed one package and stashed them in the freezer for a rainy day. Well, with me being so down and out lately I decided to whip out these pizzas and give them a try. Any meal that would save me a half hour on my feat of prep was a winner in my book, so it was pizza night over the weekend for our family. 



A Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza with thin crust and lots of cheese and sauce.



A Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza with thin crust and lots of cheese and sauce.

After about 15 minutes of cooking, the pizzas were ready and boy did they smell delicious! First, I have to mention how big they are. These pizzas are easily the same full size of any other frozen pizza out there, a huge change from the other frozen, premade gluten free pizzas that are available only in a personal pan size. Now onto the pizza itself. The crust is super thin, soft and chewy in the middle and browned and crispy on the outside. And the sauce and cheese that tops it all is perfectly tasty, just as good as a pie from a restaurant I must say. Overall, this pizza is phenomenal! I still prefer making my own pizzas but for the price for the two pack and how delicious these are, it certainly does make me think twice. 

I highly recommend snagging these Gluten Free Freschetta Pizzas! And if you can, grab them in a family size pack from your local BJs, Costco, or Sams Club to save yourself some money. Great job Freschetta and thank you for your fantastically tasty contribution to the gluten free community!

Sincerely,

Lindsay 

This Halloween Pass Out Treats For All Kids To Enjoy By Participating In The Teal Pumpkin Project

As you might remember, I’ve mentioned a couple times my nephew who has severe allergies to milk, egg, peanuts, and shellfish. At only 7, this poor little boy has experienced more health wise than some of us in our twenties. With countless emergency visits to the doctor to the dreaded food challenges at Children’s Hospital, his life at 7 is not enviable by many. So when Halloween rolls around, a day that kids countdown to in anticipation of the boat loads of candy that they’ll get, my dear little nephew who can eat a grand total of 3-4 candies out of the entire candy aisle isn’t entirely thrilled with the idea of getting candy. Sure he looks forward to dressing up and the act of trick-or-treating but giving the bulk of his loot up at the end of the night to his brothers or his favorite aunt over here isn’t his favorite part.

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5



In the past, I always try to make sure that we have some non-candy treats for him, as well as some of his special allergy free candy treats too. At least this way he’ll always have a few houses that he’ll get treats that he won’t have to surrender at the end of the night. This year however I stumbled upon the Food Allergy Research & Education’s Teal Pumpkin Project. 

Make sure you head over to FARE’s site for more non-food treat ideas and to print out their Teal Pumpkin Project flyers to hang in your door or window. Also, get your kids involved and have them paint a pumpkin teal to keep on your doorstep! Help make this Halloween fun and safe for all the kids out there!

Sincerely,

Lindsay

 

Gluten Free And Trying To Conceive: From Ovulation To Fertility

Okay so you’ve picked out your gluten free prenatal vitamins and started taking them and you’re all on board for your diet adjustments, so all you have to do now is get pregnant, right? Ah, if things were only that easy. As many would probably agree, trying to get pregnant is almost as stressful as the actual pregnancy itself, from ovulation schedules to fertility issues and for some of us the impact of a gluten free life. There are so many ways that the stress of getting pregnant can become overwhelming; thankfully though there are some methods and some studies to relieve at least a few of your worries. Thanks to ovulation kits and so many other indicators of fertility, conception has been made simpler in a lot of ways. In addition to predicting the best time for conception, some of us also have the added worry of whether or not our pre-gluten free life or current gluten free diet will affect our ability to get pregnant. There’s just so many questions and worries that I for one faced when I was trying to conceive; so by sharing what I experienced during my pre-pregnancy time before little one, some of these questions may be answered for you.

Ovulation:  

clearblue ovulation test



One of our best friends when we were trying to get pregnant with our little one were the Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests. We tried the line reading ones but the digital by far were easier for result reading, no guessing if a line was darker because it’s actually darker or because you’re willing it to be darker. Back then my days were so much more predictable so I had some idea of when things were supposed to happen, which is a huge help if you’re able to do that. The digital ovulation tests just took so much of the guess work out, confirming the specific days that were most promising. These tests can really be your best friend especially if you’ve never had a regular cycle or are not quite as regular for trying for baby number two as you were for baby number number one. Either way, the digital ovulation tests are a godsend and really helped us out and will hopefully be helpful for us next time around too.

Gluten Free & Fertility:  

Unfortunately, predicting your ovulation days is only a small piece of the puzzle of conception. Before my husband and I had tried to get pregnant with our little girl, I was concerned about the effect of my gluten free life not only on a pregnancy, but also on our attempts to get pregnant. I had no idea if a gluten free diet could negatively impact our chances of getting pregnant or have the opposite effect. So to take away some of the worries that I had before we even tried to have a baby, I googled away trying to find some type of evidence that would make me feel better. 

What I learned from all of my research is that there is definitely a link between gluten sensitivity and fertility, but not in a way that I was fearing. Research has actually convinced medical professionals that an undiagnosed gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, while negative in a lot of ways, may contribute to or actually cause fertility issues in both men and women. This theory suggests then that a gluten free diet is in no way a hindrance on conceiving but can rather be a beneficial adjustment if fertility issues are known to exist. 

While everyone knows in the gluten free community that if individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity were to consume gluten they would suffer from physical distress in the form of noticeable symptoms along with internal damage. An impact of gluten consumption in these individuals that was relatively unheard of until a few years back were fertility issues. In 2010, there was a study that demonstrated undiagnosed celiac disease to be a common denominator in women who had unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriages, and other pregnancy complications. From this study, it was suggested that if women are experiencing infertility or any other pregnancy complications then they should consider getting tested for celiac disease. In those with celiac or a suspected gluten sensitivity, treating with a gluten free diet could then resolve or at least reduce risks of pregnancy complications. Feel free to read more of Dr. Kumar’s fertility study here.

Reading studies of that nature definitely eased my worries of a gluten free diet possibly affecting our ability to get pregnant in a negative way. In fact, I was incredibly grateful that I had gone gluten free before we had contemplated adding children to the mix seeing as the damage that gluten was doing to my body could have gone as far as inhibiting our ability to get pregnant. That connection is incredibly disturbing and saddens me that so many individuals may succumb to this negative side effect without ever realizing the culprit. This is yet another reason why doctors should be thoroughly educated on diagnosing not only celiac disease but also gluten sensitivity too. Since I had gone to a doctor who never suggested the possibility of a food intolerance or celiac disease, I had never heard anything about either one of these let alone their possible effects on my ability to have children. As a woman, and let me just say that there is proof that gluten can affect men’s fertility as well, who has lived her life almost entirely consuming gluten until the past few years of gluten free living, it’s extremely overwhelming to hear side effects of this nature that could affect you and your future family.

As I always say, there’s so much more to living a gluten free life than just literally living gluten free. From the day you realized that your body couldn’t handle gluten or wheat your world changes drastically and becomes so much more than just omitting certain things from your diet. It’s so much harder than that, you truly feel like you live in a world that just wasn’t made for you. Aside from the challenges of just eating, the lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the severity of this lifestyle in the general public and medical field is really tough to adjust to. You really do feel like you have to justify your lifestyle to everyone around you, not to mention with minimal help from anyone with a medical know how. Hopefully though, by doing just this and getting the word out, the knowledge and importance of understanding this diet will grow and we’ll find ourselves in much better company in a few years. 

So, if you find yourself ready to take the next step to trying for a baby make sure you’re aware of your own health. If you’ve just gone gluten free, congratulations! Give your body some time to recuperate and then hop on board the baby making train. If you’ve been gluten free for some time, go for it, and don’t worry about your gluten free diet during this stage of the game. If you’re not gluten free but are having some difficulties conceiving, talk to your doctor first and discuss trying a gluten free diet, there’s no harm in trying. Regardless if your gluten free or not, try to enjoy this time. I’ll let you in on a little secret, my husband and I are hopefully on the road to adding baby number two and I have to say that I forgot how tough and stressful this whole process can be. I welcome all of you to feel free to share your experiences, remember your story could help someone else or at least make others feel like they aren’t alone.

I hope all of you are blessed with that little one that you’ve been praying for. I’ll send some prayers your way too!

Sincerely,

Lindsay

A Perfect Way To Start Your Last Disney Day Is A Gluten Free Breakfast At Chef Mickey’s

A Disney vacation for us wouldn’t be complete with at least one character experience. While our little girl loves many a character, by far her favorites are Mickey and his friends. So without hesitation, we signed up for an early breakfast at Chef Mickey’s on our last full day of our vacation. We’ve dined here once before with little one when we were in Disney for Halloween and she loved it then so we could only imagine now almost a year later what her reaction may be. 

The only tough part about having an early breakfast reservation at a Disney resort is the act of actually getting there. Since we stayed at Art of Animation this time around we didn’t have access to the boat to drop us off at the Contemporary, so for our 7:00 breakfast reservation our only option was to catch the earliest bus to Magic Kingdom, which was at 6:45. They dropped us off at Magic Kingdom where we then had to hike over to the Contemporary, making us a little late for our reservation. I’m guessing that we’re not the only ones that have ever had that happen, since they weren’t really phased by our tardiness. Still though, they should have a better system for getting guests to their early breakfast reservations. 

Nonetheless, we arrived to our reservation, a little late, but we got there safe and sound, one of us dressed in her cutest Minnie dress. We waited only a few minutes before we were seated at one of the last tables in the first dining room. The chef immediately joined us and offered to escort me around the buffet to review my gluten free options. Knowing that I wouldn’t actually be daring enough to eat anything off of the buffet line I decided to save us both the time and just put in my order with him right away. I love Chef Mickey’s cheesy shredded hashbrown so that was a given, I also went with some eggs and extra crispy bacon too, and no Disney breakfast is complete without gluten free Mickey waffles and some fresh fruit. And as simple as that, my order was placed and Dan was up filling some plates for he and our little one. 



DSC_0339 (2)



Chef Mickey’s gluten free breakfast of cheesy hashbrowns, eggs, and crispy bacon.

I was busy cutting up Lila’s plate of food when my plates had arrived. Wow, that’s all I have to say, a lot of food for little old me. I knew that I wouldn’t touch even half of this amount of food, especially given the amount of distraction at this meal, but I had to at least try everything I wanted. Only a few bites into breakfast and the first of the characters began to circulate. Our little girl’s eyes grew ten sizes as she didn’t take her eyes off Goofy the entire time he walked around the room, only taking pauses to nibble at her food. And finally the moment arrived for her to meet her first character. I sprung her from her highchair and she ran up to him giving him a huge hug, a moment that makes our hearts melt for sure. She continued the same greeting with each of the characters, making Dan and I so thankful that we were able to bring her to Disney again.

Now the food itself was delicious, just as wonderful as I had remembered from months before. The hashbrown is always my favorite here, they remind me of a gluten filled hashbrown casserole that I used to enjoy at Cracker Barrel, a country style restaurant that we used to go to when I was younger. They’re the shredded potatoes that I love, coated with a cheesy sauce, can’t get better than that. The Mickey waffles I honestly can say I barely got a chance to enjoy as my little girl caught one glance and adopted half of my plate. But what I did taste was amazing! Besides being adorable, being gluten free didn’t impact their taste and texture at all. They’re beautiful aren’t they!   



DSC_0340 (2)



Soft and light gluten free Mickey waffles at Chef Mickey’s.

It was a wonderful start to our last full day of vacation and as you can see our little one was all smiles as we were leaving. We headed out to catch the monorail to head over to Magic Kingdom. We had some big plans for our last full day from meeting Ariel to enjoying the splash zone over by Dumbo, a surprise for little one that we thought she’d really enjoy, all ending with dinner at Kona Cafe and the electrical parade.  

DSC_0410 (3) - Copy



The monorail took a bit longer then we had planned, so we missed park opening but with fastpasses in hand we headed straight back to begin our long day in Magic Kingdom. That morning we explored every bit of Fantasyland from Ariel and Dumbo to Peter Pan and the carousel. To escape some of the heat we even headed into Gaston’s Tavern to enjoy some cool air and a snack too. No, sadly the giant cinnamon buns are not gluten free but their specialty drink, Lefou’s brew, is. So it was one Lefou’s brew for each of us, mine I’d be splitting with little one. It was pretty tasty, a cold apple flavored slushy with hints of marshmallow and topped with a passion fruit foam. The marshmallow was a bit strange for me but I did definitely like the combination of the apple slushy and passion fruit foam which was a bit sour. All together it was a pretty good treat, just nice to enjoy something gluten free while everyone else around you is digging into the Mount Everest of cinnamon buns.  



Disney Summer 2014 (25)



Gaston’s Tavern Lefou’s Brew is gluten free and delicious too!

The rest of our time in Magic Kingdom, before heading to dinner, we let our little girl enjoy the splash zone over by Dumbo. She loved the water shooting out from the circus cars and who wouldn’t, seeing as the heat index was well over 100 that day. Being soaked from head to toe didn’t bother her as we hopped on the train to take a relaxing tour around the park. Once we were brought back to Fantasyland we headed up to the front of the park to shop a bit before dinner while our little girl enjoyed her nap time. 

Dinner that night we were super excited about seeing as we were revisiting Kona Cafe, where we had one of our favorite meals the trip before. We arrived a bit early but took advantage of the cool air and peace and quiet while our little girl was sleeping. Soon enough, we were all awake and being seated for dinner. It took awhile this time for the chef to come out to take my dinner order but I successfully placed my order for the gluten free noodle dish with chicken. Meanwhile, Dan ordered his sushi and it was Mickey shaped ravioli, and not to mention the deliciously sweet Hawaiian bread, on the menu that night for our little girl.



DSC_0560 (2)



Gluten Free Noodle Dish With Chicken at the Polynesian’s Kona Cafe.

Our meals had arrived and not a peep was heard around the table, except for the occasional excited declaration of Mickey being on little one’s plate. The Mickey raviolis were a hit for sure, definitely a dinner item that I wish we could get at home. My gluten free noodle dish though was by far one of my favorite meals from that trip, in all honesty it was one of the only nights that I wasn’t feeling sick at dinner, but putting that aside, it was the only dinner that I wished I knew how to make at home so I can enjoy it more often. The flavors are just amazing and remind me fondly of the days when I could enjoy a warm bowl of lo mein. Rice noodles and fresh veggies, some still with a little crunch, slathered with a delicious gluten free terriyaki sauce of sorts made me one happy gluten free Mommy.

With our last dinner coming to a close and the end of our vacation drawing near, we couldn’t help but look back at the past week with sadness. As always, the vacation flew by much faster than we had hoped. It was a bit more eventful in the health department than we had wished for but that’s life, you just have to roll with what life gives you sometimes. All together it was a wonderful Disney vacation, that ended with a great electrical parade that night with a couple of characters stopping by to say hi to our little one and a full morning the next day in Magic Kingdom to enjoy some last moments on our favorite rides. I’m still holding out hope that our next Disney vacation we won’t have to order a prescription, retreat to the hotel room for recovery, or make an impromptu visit to the urgent care center. We’re not sure when we’ll be back for our next Disney vacation but my fingers, toes, and everything that can be crossed will be crossed, along with many a prayer, for a completely healthy vacation. For now, we’ll be dreaming of our next days in Disney and all of the memories that they will bring.

Have A Magical Day,

Lindsay 

 

Gluten Free Roasted Red Peppers With Provolone Cheese: A Perfect Appetizer Or Side

Anytime Dan and I eat out I’m always on the lookout for new dishes that I can recreate easily at home. Without the recipes, I can’t replicate very many verbatim but using the same core ingredients I can get pretty close on my own. Early in September we attended my father-in-law’s birthday dinner at a restaurant nearby. The menu offered tons of different dishes, many of which weren’t gluten free for one reason or another but one in particular was right up my alley and I knew would be a dish that I’d try on my own later on. A plate full of roasted red peppers topped with steaming melted sharp provolone cheese was placed at our table and couldn’t have looked more appetizing. One taste and I was hooked, this dish was next on my list of at home recreations. 

First up was roasting red peppers, a task I’d never done on my own despite my love for roasted red peppers themselves. To be honest, red peppers are quite expensive so to spare myself the extra money and job itself, buying the jarred version is much easier. But for this dish, it was freshly cooked roasted red peppers all the way and I’m telling you these couldn’t have been easier to do. Once the red peppers were underway, putting together the rest of this dish was so simple. This is a perfect addition to any meal or dinner party, making a great appetizer or side dish. My husband and little one enjoyed these just as much as I did, which means that these Gluten Free Roasted Red Peppers With Provolone Cheese will definitely be appearing again at a future dinner or maybe upcoming holiday meal?

Note: This recipe is big enough for a family of three, so adjust as necessary for the number of people in your party.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large red peppers
  • Shredded Sharp Provolone Cheese (Belgioioso is gluten free)
  • Oregano
  • Salt or Garlic Salt

Directions:

  • Wash and dry your red peppers before placing them on the hottest part of your grill for roasting.
  • Using tongs, turn your red peppers over periodically until all sides are black. 
  • Once your red peppers are black, remove them from the grill and add them to a glass bowl, cover with saran wrap, and let them sit for 10 minutes, this loosens the skins so they can be removed easily.


Roast your red peppers on the grill until the skins turn black.



Roast your red peppers on the grill until the skins turn black.

  • Meanwhile shred some sharp provolone cheese for sprinkling on top of your red peppers and turn on the oven to 350.
  • Once 10 minutes have passed, carefully remove your red peppers and begin to peel off the charred skin with your fingers. I cut off the tops and slice down one side to make this easier. Also be sure to remove the seeds inside too.


Remove charred skins and seeds.



Remove charred skins and seeds.

  • Once all skins and seeds have been removed, add your roasted red peppers to a baking dish. Feel free to leave your red peppers as whole slices or cut up into sections like I did, these sizes were just a little better for our little diner. 
  • Sprinkle some sharp provolone cheese on top.


Sprinkle red peppers with shredded sharp provolone cheese.



Sprinkle red peppers with shredded sharp provolone cheese.

  • Finish with some oregano and a little salt or garlic salt. 
  • Cook your red peppers in the oven for about 10 minutes or until your cheese has melted. 


Melt shredded sharp provolone cheese on top of red peppers.



Melt shredded sharp provolone cheese on top of red peppers.

  • Enjoy!


Enjoy!



Enjoy!

These were such a hit at that birthday dinner I knew that they would be a new family favorite at home too. The flavor of the freshly roasted red pepper mixed with the melted sharp provolone cheese was delicious! This dish is definitely a crowd pleaser not only in taste but also appearance, it looks beautifully tasty doesn’t it? This is such a winner that it may even make an appearance at our next holiday dinner!  

 Sincerely,

Lindsay

Gluten Free Roasted Red Peppers With Provolone Cheese


Write a review

Print

Ingredients
  1. 2 large red peppers
  2. Shredded Sharp Provolone Cheese (Belgioioso is gluten free)
  3. Oregano
  4. Salt or Garlic Salt
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry your red peppers before placing them on the hottest part of your grill for roasting.
  2. Using tongs, turn your red peppers over periodically until all sides are black.
  3. Once your red peppers are black, remove them from the grill and add them to a glass bowl, cover with saran wrap, and let them sit for 10 minutes, this loosens the skins so they can be removed easily.
  4. Meanwhile shred some sharp provolone cheese for sprinkling on top of your red peppers and turn on the oven to 350.
  5. Once 10 minutes have passed, carefully remove your red peppers and begin to peel off the charred skin with your fingers. I cut off the tops and slice down one side to make this easier. Also be sure to remove the seeds inside too.
  6. Once all skins and seeds have been removed, add your roasted red peppers to a baking dish. Feel free to leave your red peppers as whole pieces or slice up into sections like I did, these were just a better size for our little diner.
  7. Sprinkle some sharp provolone cheese on top.
  8. Finish with some oregano and a little salt or garlic salt.
  9. Cook your red peppers in the oven for about 10 minutes or until your cheese has melted.
  10. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Mom To Be http://www.glutenfreemomtobe.com/

Gluten Free Dinner And A Show at Disney’s Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, With My Husband Making His Acting Debut!

I know I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve treated you to Disney dining from our vacations. Sorry to leave you hanging on the rest of our last Disney vacation but there were a couple of other non-Disney blogging items that needed to be checked off the list. So without further delay I’ll fill you in on the events and meals that filled our last few days in Disney.  

This vacation we decided to treat ourselves for a day at Blizzard Beach and thank goodness we did. The August Florida heat was kicking our butts, okay mainly mine, and we were in desperate need for a cool down day. Our little girl is definitely a water baby, she loves taking baths, going in swimming pools, and splashing in knee deep ocean water so we knew that she’d be a huge fan of the water park. So when day 6 rolled around we donned ourselves in our bathing suits, water shoes, and plenty of sun tan lotion to enjoy Blizzard Beach.



8122014 Blizzard Beach (98)



Blizzard Beach Fun

If you haven’t been to Blizzard Beach I highly recommend it. No not necessarily for all of the delicious gluten free eats and treats, which are kind of few and far between aside from your usual snacks, but rather for the family fun that can be had. They have a wonderful toddler/little kid zone equipped with a toddler deep pool with floating ice sculptures, squirters, and some really cool slides that even my little one could partake in. Even though we squished her little butt into one of those life vest swim suits we were still hesitant to send her on her way down a water slide. Following her lead though, she was ready and raring to go and scooted her way down the big slide with Dan at the top to send her off and me at the bottom to catch her safely. She loved every bit of it, especially the independence factor, and would’ve been content to spend the rest of the day in her area but we decided to check out the rest of Blizzard Beach.

We headed over to the older kid play area filled with tube slides, an obstacle course of floating ice caps to walk on, and a zip line, not really a play area for our little girl so Dan and I hopped in the pool and bopped around with her for a bit while the rest of her cousins explored their attractions. We did send her down a bigger version of the little kid slides and she loved every second of it. It was a little scary watching our tiny little girl do these big kid things but seeing as she had her life vest on and a once competitive swimmer for a Mommy waiting at the bottom we decided to let her give it a try. Afterwards it was onto the lazy river and wave pool, both of which were big hits for our little girl. All in all, a day with nothing but water is a winner for our family. Our little girl was a happy little clam and would’ve probably enjoyed a whole vacation just at Blizzard Beach.   

We called it a day early- to mid-afternoon so we could head back to our resort, eat something little, get cleaned up, and head out for dinner at Hoop Dee Doo Revue. After reading some pretty good gluten free reviews we decided to give it a try. With an early dinner/show reservation at 4:00 and a less than direct route to Fort Wilderness we headed out early to make our way to Magic Kingdom to get a boat over to Fort Wilderness. Soon enough we had arrived at the restaurant and waited to be let in for our dinner time. Our group of 9 were escorted to our table, which had a great view of the stage. The waiter brought the chef over shortly after we were seated and he reviewed all of the gluten free options with me. On the menu that evening was a garden salad, gluten free corn bread, grilled chicken, baked beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and ribs, sounded good to me! And let me add that you get bottomless sangria too, yay!



DSC_0202 (2)



Gluten Free Dinner at Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue

While we waited for our food to arrive the show had started which turned out to be a real blessing for our little one. Between nibbling on corn bread, coloring in and out of the coloring book, and watching the endless song and dance up on the stage, our little one was a happy camper. She would laugh and clap along with songs and even got the spotlight put on her, mid- corn bread bite I’d like to add, as the cutest little princess at the show. 

Our little girl was certainly a fan of the dinner and show but I had yet to taste any of the gluten free food to be a judge. While everyone else’s food had arrived, I anxiously awaited mine while I cut up a plate full for little one. Just as I was finishing, an overflowing plate of barbecue heaven was plopped down in front of me. I didn’t take a picture of my food at this dinner, mainly because it was so dark, but also because we had a major distraction during our meal which I’ll tell you about in just a minute. So back to the food, the ribs were delicious, fell right off the bone, and were definitely one of my favorites along with the mashed potatoes. The chicken was just grilled chicken, nothing fancy here, and the other accompaniments were okay as well. The gluten free cornbread was pretty good, a little dense for me, but tasty nonetheless. 



DSC_0212 (2)



An added bonus….my husband was picked to be in the show!

I barely had begun to enjoy my food when one of the performers was next to our table asking Dan to join them up on stage. Now, if this were me I would say no so fast but my husband is definitely a team player and took one for the team here. So up he went and my dinner was put on hold as I had to capture these moments on video. I couldn’t stop laughing at my poor husband’s impromptu acting debut that lasted for a good 20 minutes. Our little girl was ecstatic watching her daddy perform and just kept pointing at him. He was definitely a trooper, more specifically a brave little Indian, and gave us a memory that we’ll be able to share with our little girl for years to come.

When the star of the show returned to our table our dessert was waiting for him. Strawberry shortcake greeted everyone else and I had a plate of fresh strawberries and whipped cream. The strawberry shortcake got rave reviews, especially from our little one who couldn’t get enough of the super sweet strawberries and cake combo. My dessert was tasty, nothing to write home about, but that was okay since I was planning on a gluten free Dole Whip later that night anyway.

All together, our dinner at Hoop-Dee-Doo was a night to remember, thanks mainly to my husband’s performance. The food was pretty good and the show was so-so but it was nice to have some entertainment that kept our little one’s attention, allowing us some time to ourselves. It was a great experience and we’ll definitely be back there one day but we have lots of other new restaurants to try before we return. 

Stay tuned for our last full day of gluten free meals from Kona Cafe’s noodle dish to a Lefou’s Brew!

Have A Magical Day,

Lindsay

1 2 3 16